Craig Beaven: “Geology”


Our crust layer
fragile eggshell
on limestone porous,
camellias’ white roots
push down five feet—
thin hairs in the dark. The roots
take what they need
to turn this bloom
like a wheel
over three days;
like a star
it shines, burns
off all its fuel.
We look. Where

in my mind
am I trying to go—
spelunking days
for the object
that begins
the story. Free
of sun and wind, everything
in the ocean beneath us
is preserved:
femur, leather pouch,
gourd-spoon. The divers
can take photos
but must leave
relics undisturbed,
the present task only:

create a map
of the underside
of the world, put a pin
at the next sinkhole,
and we will know
where not to build our houses.

Craig Beaven’s first book, Natural History, won the Gerald Cable Book Award. His poems appear in Pleiades, Prairie Schooner, Carolina Quarterly, Rattle, Tin House, and many others.

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